Brunch Review: Queenstown Public House

By Sara Woznicki

Last week when I was alone in San Diego, I had set myself some goals. One of which was to brunch. I was so committed to that goal, I did it twice. I approached the situation with some trepidation, because one facet of brunch, which seems essential to the enjoyment of it all is the camaraderie. When I was, “Sara, party of one,” I was definitely missing some (or all) of the socialization of brunch, but the food was on point both brunches.

On Saturday, I went to Queenstown Public House, in what I know now is the Little Italy community of San Diego. It was also a stone’s throw away from my hotel: bonus points. When you first approach Queenstown, it looks like a friendly island bungalow. There was a little patch of grass in front with stones that lead up to the door, and tables fenced in around the front. While you’d be sitting still pretty close to the sidewalk if you were outside, it still seemed like it felt a little separated. Not that I’d know first hand, as I brought my party of one straight to the bar.

The inside is really cute for the most part. There is this lamb room up front, which I couldn’t quite get down with, but I think it would be pretty cool on Halloween if they put some faux blood splatters around the room. But I digress. The rest of the bar maintains the beachy, island feel. The bar itself had cute little plants on it, which added to the effect. Overall, excellent decor.

I ordered some water and coffee for my beverages, as something about drinking alone at brunch sounded exponentially more sad than just brunching alone. The menu itself was pretty incredible. I had my heart set on the lamb hash, because duh — lamb. But if I hadn’t immediately set my sights on that, I would have also considered the oink (because jalapeño corn bread AND pulled pork) or Sheila’s guilt (because ice cream AND cinnamon buns?! My waist would have cried, but I would have also probably happy cried).

queenstown lamb hashUsually when there are multiple options that I really want from a menu, I have extreme FOMO, and wait — I have terrible FOMO from Queenstown. I really want that oink plate too. However, I regret nothing about ordering the lamb hash. The lamb was tender and flavorful, and the two different potatoes complimented the taste. I didn’t quite love the parsnips, but when consumed with other elements of the dish, it wasn’t too noticeable. The eggs and the hollandaise sauce were pretty standard, so I don’t have much to say about those, but if they had more flavor, it would have competed with the lamb.

One hidden gem of the meal was also the bread, because #carbs, but also because of the jam. I can’t tell you what kind of fruit it was, but it tasted wonderful. It was an added bonus that I wasn’t expecting, as I didn’t know I’d be getting bread.

Would I recommend Queenstown? Yerp. Would I go back? Yerp, especially because that would mean I am miraculously in San Diego again.

#ThrowbackThursday: The Pinnacle of My College Writing Career

By Sara Woznicki

One requirement of my sophomore year Introduction to Public Relations Writing class was to submit an editorial to the school paper. There was no limit on what we could write about, so I picked a topic I was rather passionate about. James Madison University is beautiful: the mountains, the buildings and the perfectly thought out flowers.

Then they threw a paintable rock right in the middle of a field where the sun sets perfectly over the rolling hill. It looked like a graffitied igloo. Horrible. So I wrote about that. And then it got published.

Everyone seemed to love it. My teacher said he likes to read it if he’s feeling down. My friends all giggled. My parents sent it around to the relatives. And a stranger even chatted me on Facebook to ask how I began to write for the paper, as she was inspired to write after reading my column. Everyone seemed to love it.

That is, except for the guy who put the rock in the middle of the field.

I got an email from this man in charge of the Madison Society, which aimed at bringing tradition to campus. The irony here is one of my main points was that you can’t create a tradition in such a manufactured way.

This man invited me to lunch so we could talk about the rock, and he could explain his stance to me. Cazey convinced me to go because (one) I’d get free lunch and (two) it’d make a good story. Hindsight, it probably would have made a good story, had I written about it at the time and didn’t wait for years.

The memory of lunch may have faded, but the story lives on, thanks to the inter webs. We can all remember how upset I was the day the pimple blemished on the new side of campus. We can all smile as the amount of feedback I got. And we can all be thankful we live in a country where we can get published in a school-run newspaper when we’re criticizing their decisions. America.

When West Egg Meets East Egg: Dating Outside Your Bracket

By Cazey Williams

Peasant meets prince

They met through friends. They didn’t really get to know each other before they hooked up. Sometime afterward, they began to get to know one another through texting and maybe hanging out before hooking up again. At some point, she realized he was rich. Ungodly rich. As in, he had ancestors. And when you can mention your ancestors, then your privilege is rooted deeper than the skyscrapers and McMansions that encase privilege.

He made comments like, “People just don’t get it here.” Here being this place where people have student loans and didn’t necessarily get a new car when they turned 16.

He mistook her for his pedigree. Yes, her mom didn’t work, but she had only ever lived in one home and had never left the country. His family had already bought him an office for his practice in the Big Apple once he got his MD. And he had never worked, only endured paid internships where Friday afternoons were spent on golf greens.

She thinks, “You don’t get it.” But she’s back at his place three nights later. Right now they’re just flirting. No one’s meeting parents or grandparents that hand out $400 monthly allowances – to all 18 grandchildren.

Does Money Matter?

The story got me thinking. Can we have relationships outside our tax bracket? Well, of course we can, but should we? And gosh, this question sounds so old-fashioned and, frankly, superficial. But it may actually matter: The primary fight between couples involves, well, money. What, did you think love conquers all?

For most of my relationships (which includes my friendships), this question is inconsequential. Then again, maybe this is proof that it is consequential: I waive relationships where I would feel uncomfortable because of income disparity. Sorry, Paris Hilton (is she still a thing?), I can’t afford to date you.

Beyond the shallow reasons – e.g. fearing observers think you’re just dating up, you social climber you – involving yourself with someone from another bracket is only so bad in that it can hinder how you two relate. We struggle to relate to one another’s experiences and backgrounds. I can conjecture and feign empathy, and you can explain away about “which of my four houses do I visit for Christmas,” but there will probably (read: always) be some sort of judgment in my mind when you toss $50+ toward a bottle of wine or you’re willing to jet to Italy for a weekend (like, who are you? So casual).

I might also have cheap taste in wine.

More Than Money?

It’s not all about income bracket. It’s about what we prioritize – but they’re correlated. I will never think fermented fruit is worth more than $15 because wine has never changed my life – and my family prefers to drink canned beer out of coolers (but you’re welcome to take me on a free wine tasting expedition to sway my stance). And I don’t go on spontaneous Mediterranean vacations or hang out with people who have multiple vacation homes, partially because I can’t afford that due to living off a stipend currently and the rest because that is not the life I come from. For example, my dad has never been on a plane.

And that’s why, while  it all sounds wonderful and cinematic and I anticipate the day where I have a disposable income to afford those frivolities, I still view them as just that: Frivolities. I was not raised to think income, no matter how great, is ever just disposable. Or shoes worth a grand. Blame my dad raised by my grandmother who grew up during the Great Depression. (I also conjecture dreadful scenarios that would bankrupt me, e.g. car crashes, burned down apartments, cancer diagnoses, etc. – but I try not to live in fear, though I fear the day that I think I’m too good for a dollar cone at McDonald’s.)

Don’t get me wrong, I do have dreams if and when I have that income – where my city flat would be (Chicago) and where I would own a beach cottage (Greece!) – but realistic me never sees me signing that mortgage or buying a $600 sweater. When I have attended functions with big wigs who sip scotch and discuss racehorses, sailing, and Rolexes (or at least I imagine they discuss these pastimes between toasting to Wall Street corruption), I have always felt uneasy in my JC Penney suit and my true gold class ring that I got for free and never would have paid for, distinctly judging their fat cat ways. This bat mitzvah is more than a college grad’s salary. A rehearsal dinner that costs more than a wedding, they must be so in love. Oh, you have a family jeweler; how quaint.

So heading back to the original question: Sure, you can be with someone from a higher (or lower) bracket, but once the honeymoon giddiness wears off, how comfortable will you be? If the disparity isn’t going to bother you, then go for it. If love does conquer all, including opinions on wealth, then revel in your romance. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to not dating heiresses.

A Millennial’s Take on Car Insurance Shopping

By Sara Woznicki

I usually keep my work/blog life pretty separate, and don’t explicitly talk about what I do (because I’m a stripper…kidding), but today I’m going to lay it all out in the open for you. I work at a really cool start-up, like my brunch-table bio says, but if I were to write a straight blog about it, it wouldn’t actually sounds that cool. Because we’re all about car insurance. Please stop yawning; we’re only in the first paragraph.

So why do I think this start-up is so cool? Because the whole goal of our company is to make that boring subject easier to understand, more transparent and way easier to buy. We’re working to change the way an entire industry works. It’s exhilarating, and there’s a real need for our service.

Raise your hand if you like to compare prices before you buy something. Okay, everyone (and yes, I know it’s everyone), put your hands down. We all do it. Before I bought an electric toothbrush, my mom price compared in multiple stores and online (thanks, Mom!) before I committed to one. Even for little things, I compare, like driving down the road, “Oh, Shell is two cents cheaper, let me fly across five lanes to get gas there instead.”

It’d make sense then that we’d want to compare prices on an investment as large as car insurance then, too, right? Yup. So once day, I put in my information into our site, compare.com (the name of the start-up where I work, which I neglected to mention until now), got a few rates back and called it a day. Then, I was assigned the task of putting my information into 10 different insurance sites to see what the range of prices were for my exact current coverage and how much time it would take to compare without compare.com.

I spent literally a half of a day getting all of my rates. Hot damn did I almost lose my mind. I ate through an entire jar of jellybeans in one sitting and only took breaks to betch about how tired I was of giving my A/S/L to companies. What I learned though was pretty valuable. My range of rates went from $450 to $1750 for the exact same coverage. That’s a crazy spread that I got, but most people don’t realize how much you could be getting ripped off, because yours is probably just as bad. Have you wasted that amount of time to compare?

I know I didn’t when I was initially deciding to buy car insurance. As I’ve admitted before, my mom three-way called me and our insurance company so I could get my own insurance. I knew I should compare rates, but was I ever going to non-company-sponsored spend my entire afternoon comparing rates? Nope. So I went with that one carrier my mom hooked me up with.

So, now that I know my range, and know that I could be saving, what’s the end of my auto insurance story? I stuck with my current insurance company. While it’s good to see what’s out there, and I know I could be saving, I like the amenities I have currently, and I trust them. Plus, when I called them and said, “Look, I did 10 quotes and I know I could be saving elsewhere. What can you do for me?,” they reviewed my policy, shaved off a bit of money, and told me exactly how to lower my rate through other means.

Knowledge is power, people. And knowledge comes from doing your homework before you buy, which compare.com is now doing for you, because we’re cool like that.

Me, Myself, and Miami

IMG_6445

By Cazey Williams

Recently, I had the chance to go to Miami for a conference. Obviously I jumped at this since I had never been to Miami before, and I hardly blinked when I learned I would effectively be alone. I had always wanted to travel by myself, and two days to explore Miami excited me.

I hit up a couple of friends who knew something about Miami and told myself I would read up more before I took off. Of course that didn’t happen. I arrived in Miami with the two item bucket list of seeing Wynwood and South Beach.

I assumed my hotel concierge would be able to embellish those goals. Instead, he tried to sell me $55 tickets for a six-hour trip to the Everglades – which would be cool if this wasn’t my first time in Miami and I only had one day.

Me: “Let me go check with my friend, and I’ll come back down.”

I exited the hotel through a backdoor.

IMG_6488I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen Miami depicted in TV shows or movies. And this is when I tell you they don’t exaggerate the aesthetic: Miami is gorgeous. It’s like the palm trees even have Botox. You don’t need an Instagram filter; in fact, you might need to turn down the saturation. The butts are bigger. The tans are darker. And everything is greener, including the money. (Imagine a Lamborghini cutting off a Camaro at every corner.)

I started my adventures at the Bayside Marketplace, which is an outdoor mall on the water. (Everything in Miami has an outdoor component. I mean, it’s 85 degrees in March.) I found a sea turtle bracelet at a stall and decided I had to have it. I asked the woman if she could break a $20. This may have given away my single tourist status, or else I screamed it in some other way. Either way she was the oracle at the beginning of the horror movie warning me to stay away.

Woman: “Are you here alone? Is this your first time in Miami?”

Me: (beaming) “It is.”

Woman: “That’s boring! You shouldn’t be alone. You’re going to have a bad time. You need friends, someone to drink with, walk around with.”

Me: “Oh . . . okay. I’m meeting a friend tomorrow.”

Woman: “You should have come with someone.”

I’ll just take my bracelet and leave now.

The Phone Debacle

The one thing a friend would have been good for is another phone. My phone, through abuse, age, or both, has the most feeble battery life. I returned to the hotel twice to let it charge. Of course I could have not Snapchatted everything or texted my friends every second, but look, that woman said I needed a companion; I have one in the palm of my hands.

On my second outing, things got dire. I decided to walk to Wynwood, which is the artsy, hipster section of Miami. (I wore my new sea turtle bracelet!) Don’t ask me why I walked; I wanted to reinforce my independence, get some exercise, and break my feet (because that’s what happened; I probably shouldn’t have worn flipflops to trek three miles).

IMG_6469On the way, I was reminded even more of how much Miami resembled a TV show! Indeed it felt like an episode of “CSI: Miami” – and I was going to be the dead victim. Let’s just say the sidewalk population is colorful. (Meanwhile, my hotel had $50 valet parking, which is absurd.) Why did I walk again?

And then SOS: My phone dipped to 35% battery. Which would be okay if I was returning to the hotel after, but I wanted to Uber to South Beach from Wynwood. I needed that battery. I decided to drop the screen brightness to reserve energy. Wait, that’s too dim. Wait, I can’t see the screen. Wait, is my phone dead? OMG, I can’t see anything!

Commence freak-out on the sidewalk. I’m holding the phone to the sky, squinting, hand over my brow, convinced my phone has kicked the cord. I needed to get inside to verify its death certificate. Thankfully, I spotted an auto store up ahead so I scampered in. Phewww. I had just turned the brightness down too low.

I decided my phone’s brightness had to stay at top notch to avoid another panic attack. And all this for my battery to plummet to 32%.

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Brunch Review: Pepper Pot

By Sara Woznicki

My love for brunch is universally known across all my friends and family. So much so that my parents knew they needed to bring me to brunch when I was at home in Connecticut. The only problem there is that some places are better at brunching than others are, and Connecticut falls into the latter category. However, my parents discovered a great brunch location, and decided to take me there. Yes, this is a travel-inspired brunch blog post, because all my current traveling is making me more opening minded about promoting places outside of Richmond. Here’s to you, new perspective.

The last two times I was at home, my parents brought me to Pepper Pot, a quaint brunch eatery in Southington, Connecticut. If you had to imagine a place where old Connecticutians dine, this would be your place.

They were fast to refill you coffee, but stingy on giving away biscuits (now that I’m from the south I really like biscuits). The first time I was at the Pepper Pot, I got a special, which was a corned beef frittata. I had no idea what a frittata was, but it had corned beef and a tangy aioli, so I was sold.

For those wondering, a frittata is basically an open omelet. Or maybe like a quiche, but less fluffy. And for those of you who already know, you’ve been awarded your brunchers badge.

The second time I went, I got the pepper pot scramble, which reminded me of the mess at Millie’s, but without the oversell of Millie’s. I was a much bigger fan of the corned beef frittata, but they don’t call if a special for nothing, right? I thought the flavor in the frittata was exceptional, which I attribute to the aioli, and corned beef is one of my favorite brunch options.

Overall, for what the Pepper Pot is, it’s perfect. I had a wonderful brunch with my parents and enjoyed my food. Their menu has lots of good egg options, and their portion size is happily out of control. I left full and satisfied. However, it’s not a Sunday Funday location, nor is their menu incredibly unique, as the pepper pot scramble is the only unusual choice.

My Goals for Tackling San Diego Alone

By Sara Woznicki

My company sent me on a press tour around California this week. We started in San Francisco, spent a day in Los Angeles, and then ended today in San Diego. Since I never am on the West Coast, I decided to stay behind for two days. After shooting our last interview this morning, hitting up the San Diego Zoo, dining and shopping in the Gaslamp District and then finally checking into my hotel, my two days alone have officially begun.

I am anxiously excited for my two days of loneliness (wait, if you’re excited to be alone, is that loneliness? I beg to differ.). Anyways, everyone’s been asking me what I planned for myself this weekend. And you know what, the answer is pretty much nothing. However, I have set some goals, which I think is as close to plans as I’ll end up having. In the hopes that making my goals public, I’ll actually do them, here they are:

  • Run along the harbor. Oh. My. Gosh. What a glorious view that harbor is. I simply can’t wait to take myself on a long, water-inspired jog alone that site, especially after the food I’ve eaten this week and the fact I’ve only worked out once.
  • Dine alone in public, confidently. This is actually one of my biggest fears, ever since I was a child. We were once on a family vacation, at this pretty nice restaurant, and there was this man sitting near us dining alone. He looked so incredibly sad, my heart hurt. And selfishly, I felt uncomfortable in his presence. I want to dine in public in a way that doesn’t force pity, but the sentiments of, “She looks happy, and is dining unapologetically alone.”
  • Brunch. Because duh.
  • Go to a bar alone. So yes, a theme here is consuming things alone in public. But this one stems from my roommates and I talking about what bar we’d go to if we had to go alone. And then thinking about what it would be like to drink at a bar alone. In a city where I know no one, there’s no better time to test it out and see what happens.
  • Read. Relax. Breathe. Tan. Doesn’t that sound too simple to be on the list? Yerp, but I need it to be on the list, because I don’t do that enough for myself. And with all my alone time, I mine as well focus on it.
  • Be a really good date for myself. There’s this Lifehouse song with lyrics that have stuck with me for years since first hearing them, and they go, “You’ve got to love yourself first before you can ever love me.” And while that’s not entirely what I’m looking for in this trip, I want to feel comfortable being alone and love spending time with myself. I want to be comfortable being my own company, and be my own entertainment. I am never alone (usually by my own design and desire). And I just want to feel good about doing something by myself and doing things that make me happy, with just me.

Cheers to going outside of your comfort zone, and I’ll see you on the other side, hopefully with some good memories to share!

Travel Refreshes Your Perspective

By Sara Woznicki

san fransisco skylineAs I sit here, staring out at the setting sun across the San Fransisco skyline, my inspiration is renewed. There’s something about being entrenched in the hustle of a place like San Fransisco. And while I’ve only been here for about eight hours, and seen little more than the view from my hotel window, the local ABC station and a very fancy French restaurant, I like it here. I wish I could have taken a picture of my meal tonight, as it was perfect in every way that you could hope for, however, I wasn’t in a setting which Instagramming your food seemed appropriate.

Maybe it’s the fact I’ve been awake now since 3AM, and according to my internal clock, we’re quickly approaching midnight and I’m delusional. Maybe it’s the Mumford and Son’s I’m currently humming along to, but there’s nothing I would quite change about this scenario. The shower had a fancy head, huge fluffy white towels greeted me upon my exit, and I have my choice between two equally soft white beds. But this is feeling like a dream.

A really wonderful, hopeful dream. I don’t travel alone ever, or travel often. So the mix of traveling with coworkers and the autonomy I must demonstrate, I’m starting to feel more empowered than normal. I can travel cross country alone, held an intelligent conversation over a $40 dinner and tucked myself into bed at a reasonable hour. Plus, everyone in San Fransisco is chasing their own dreams, and happily talking about it. The Uber driver today wants to run an imports and exports business. The man I Uber-ed with runs his own high-tech marketing firm. The lady across the table from me at dinner has stayed at the same company for over 16 years.

However you define personal success, it exists in San Fransisco. I love Richmond with my whole heart, but leaving the city I love to come to a bigger beast is opening up my perspective again. There’s so much world out there beyond my little corner. There’s so much to try, taste, see, feel and blog about. And it’s just day one of our press tour. I’m strapping in to come back to Richmond with a reignited passion — and hopefully a bit of a tan.

The Week of Dating Dangerously

By Cazey Williams

If you know me or follow this blog at all, you’ll have deduced I am a diehard single who hasn’t been on an unadulterated date since 2011. However, tides changed recently, and over the course of seven days, I went on four dates with four different people.

How does that happen? Well, it’s a mix of TV interviews, going big or going home, and Valentine’s Day. Can you imagine my horror when my friends pointed out that last bit?

Me: UGH, AM I BASIC PERSON?!?! I need a vodka tonic.

In my defense, the TV interview happened because of V-Day, so there’s some confounding there. In the news story, the reporter asked, “Have you been on a date?”

Me: “LOL no.” (Actually, I said something to the effect of “I still want to believe in love without technology,” and then dabbed my eye. FML.)

The first date.

I previously covered this in another post (which I wrote before I discovered I had three more dates coming). Long story short, it was a first date. I walked away (literally) and decided I had no feelings for her/this/romance.

I do think I walked by her and her dog later that week, but I didn’t realize it until she had passed, so, like, oops? Sorry?

The second date.

When I first told people about this week of dating, I would cite three-and-a-half dates, which elicited, “What is a half date?”

Me: “When you ask someone to dinner without calling it a date, and it could just be friends, but you don’t want it to be.”

My friends: “That’s a date.”

They said it, not me.

Anyway, I met Woman #2 through a friend (love without technology for the win!!), Facebook messaged her a few times, then dropped my number and said we should get pho. I then defriended her so I would never have to face rejection. Just kidding. She said yes, and we got pho. The waitress never gave me the option to pay aka she brought over two tabs. So this was what made it a half-date. I also showed up five minutes late to reinforce the casual factor. You can’t ever seem too eager.

The third date.

This started off super platonically (I thought). I’ve known Woman #3 for a while, but we happened to exchange numbers. Texting commenced. We said we’d go to a local park with her dog. Suddenly we were meeting on – wait for it – Valentine’s Day. Come again? But I wasn’t going to point it out.

But she did: “Ahhhh do we have a Valentine’s date?!?!”

Me: “If we want to label it something.”

Okay, I threw in some emojis so I wasn’t totally aloof.

So we walked her dog, chatted, and said we’d get dinner later that week.

The fourth date.

After the first date, I contemplated giving up dating apps, but then I got matched with incredibly attractive Woman #4 who turned out to have a passion for writing and dancing. Conversation ran like a sprinkler in the summer: Refreshing, wanted, and unheeded. So I proposed coffee.

Bless technology, we continued chatting throughout the week without exchanging numbers. We even engaged in some non-sexual drunk texting the night before our date.

I thought the date went well, but I never heard back from her afterward. I warned my roommate, “I’m not waiting around; I’m not going to get attached.”

My roommate: “No offense, but I was never worried that you would.” What a compliment!

In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have disclosed on our date that if I attended Hogwarts, I would be a Slytherin. Total keeper right here. No wonder we never met up again.

All in all, the whole experience resulted in lots of self-reflection and sofa anguish over who am I. Am I a Bachelor contestant, or am I a content single? I also felt fraudulent going on back-to-back dates, though my friends assured me there’s nothing dishonest about first dates (unless you’re swapping STIs). I also don’t know where I gained all this free time. Maybe I should join a civic league?

At least at the next family dinner when my aunt asks whether I’ve met anyone, I can say yes.

And This Is My Dream Job?

By Mackenzie Louise

Mackenzie Louise is our latest guest blogger and also a grad student of English literature. She dreams of retiring some day by a river and owning a whitewater rafting company. In the interim, she plans to pursue her PhD and become an English professor and medievalist. You find her on Twitter @MackenzieLouise, but it’s mostly academic retweets and thoughts only she finds funny. If you are interested in guest posting, email us at AsToldOverBrunch@gmail.com.

Teacher crushes are such a cliché, they’re pretty uninteresting and passé. You wouldn’t think the English department of my small, Christian liberal arts college would nurture such clichés, but I guess Christians are known to relish in the taboo. Something about forbidden fruit.

I was disenchanted as a young grad with my otherwise honorable department. Four months out of college and back in town for a conference, I found myself talking to my (male) mentor and another (male) student about the department’s most recent hire: a young woman, intelligent, insightful, and personable. We were all excited about her arrival to campus, even I who would never take a class with her. I met her during her campus interview the semester before, and I had enjoyed talking to her; I could tell that she would challenge students and engage them personally. I was, frankly, jealous that I’d never be under her tutelage.

She’s also attractive. And if you’ve ever heard a conversation about RateMyProfessors.com, let alone used it or browsed it, you know the significance of the chili pepper and the value of a professor’s sex appeal. But that’s for the base thoughts of young, lustful undergraduates. Academics—they know better.

The day had been long, and it was about an hour drive back to campus from the conference, so inhibitions were low and, in the quiet of a car with only three people (not playing music in the car should have been a clue: Don’t trust people who don’t listen to music in the car), the conversation was intimate.

But then my professor remarked, “We’re really hoping she’ll bring in male students to the department.”

“Eugh.” My reaction was immediate, gutted.

“I’m sorry,” he was quick. “I shouldn’t have said that.”

But it wasn’t really the fact that he had said it, although I was appalled that someone I look up to had become the mouthpiece of such vileness. Rather, my real revulsion lay in the fact that an entire department of scholars and professionals of higher education—whom I trusted and respected—thought, nay, hoped a woman’s sex appeal would help grow their male numbers.

“She’ll be good for the women, too,” he amended. But too late, bud; damage done.

I don’t remember saying much else on the topic, each of us probably hoping to let it die without further incident, but two years out from that conversation and I’m still aghast. She’s settled in the department now, in her second year, and I think her classes are still woman-heavy. Good. Because the female students do need her, far more than lusty-eyed twenty-year old men do. I had often wished for a female mentor, and this professor could have been her. She would probably never think, “We’re really hoping he’ll bring in female students.”